By Jonathan Ugbal
There is no market for the music industry in Cross River State says The Voice Nigeria season 2 finalist, Annie Cedric.
The 25 year old Yakurr born music lover who says she does not cages herself to one genre of music even though she is good in acoustic soul and reggae also stated that she views the state as a platform to grow and prepare for the bigger stage and not an opportunity to get lazy.
Annie who is disclosed this in an exclusive interview with CrossRiverWatch on Sunday in Calabar, the state’s capital where she spoke about mixing education with music, family, career and her journey at the second season of ‘The Voice Nigeria’; a musical competition sponsored by a major telecommunications company in Nigeria.
“I see Cross River State as a platform to build oneself for the bigger market. There is really no market for the music industry here. For me I think it is not an opportunity for people to get lazy. Take this place as that platform to help you build yourself through it, train and be very good at your craft so that when you get to the bigger market. It just for you to just explore,” Annie said and pointed out that she welcomes the challenge at The Voice with relish.
“This is my first time on the Voice Nigeria. It is really nice. There is nothing really new apart from the fact that it is a competition you have all the nerves running so there is really nothing new,” said Annie who made it through the blinds and the battles which she described as the toughest part, hopes to win the competition which will resume with the Lives stage later in the year in South Africa with 32 finalists.
“Music is like my life, Music is the only thing that when removed from my body, my body feels empty. It is a part of me, it is my everything. Music is the only thing that so close to me. It is more than just a career.
“I feel really proud of myself for making it through the blinds and the battles. Of course that was more like the very tough part of the competition. Now we are going for the lives. I feel really excited, I feel happy. I feel like I have won already (laughs),” she said.
She said her parents are happy she made it to the last 32 but said it was not always easy at first.
“For my parents, they are really proud of me. They weren’t expecting me to get to that very point. But, I think God has a way of doing things. They are happy about it.
“It is always a problem starting but now everybody is cool about it. Especially, my dad was really a problem but right now he is really supportive,” said the graduate of Social Work from the University of Calabar who said she did not find it difficult to mix music and education.
She said that: “Because Music is something I live for, it wasn’t actually difficult mixing music and education. All I needed to do was just set my timetable; know when to go for school and time for music. So I was good in managing it, it wasn’t really successful.”
When asked why a Bachelor’s degree and how it relates to music, she replied: “It doesn’t really need to relate. That is what I really wanted to do. I tried law I couldn’t get admission into law so I decided to go into social works which was really relative.”
Furthermore, she said that she is confident Cross Riverians will turn up for her and vote when the lives stage begin.
“Because I am their child, Cross Riverians will not throw me away. They have to draw me closer and this is that time for them to support me. It is like a child that needs to go to school, If the parents don’t have enough money to put, they will try their little best to see how the child graduates.
“Now it is time for them to help by voting, supporting, doing all that they can to make sure that we bring the crown back home which is really important. This time, it’s really not about me winning or becoming a celebrity. It is about the image and the name of the state,” she said, adding that “I pray that God does everything that your heart desires. Please keep supporting, god bless you.”
On her plans for the future, Annie said: “In the next five years, I should be married with two kids (laughs) I should have 3 awards. I should have my album, five videos. I see myself really at the top. I cannot really list them all but I know that God really has a plan and his plan is going to come through. That is where I see myself, where God plans for me.”
Also, she said her Karaoke go-to for Reggae is Bob Marley.
Annie was born in Cross River State but left to Niger state at age 3 where she spent most of her formative years and returned after securing admission to study in the University of Calabar where upon completion, departed for Lagos to pursue her musical career.